Illustrated by :Sheryl McDougald
Dimensions:10.2in x 7.2 x 0.4 in | 320 gr
Page Count:48 pages
Beautifully illustrated children's story about Canadian wildlife by famed Canadian conservationist and Governor General Award-winning author, Roderick Haig-Brown. First published as a limited edition in 1980 by Colophon Books, Alison's Fishing Birds by BC's acclaimed author and conservationist Roderick Haig-Brown is the story of a young girl's encounter with some of BC's most intriguing river birds. Alison's favourite bird, the Dipper, lives along the river by her house. She spends many hours watching the "fierce and splendid" bird as it fishes for dinner, "bob, bob, bobbing" as it skitters and dives below the surface, always emerging with a tiny fish. Farther up the river bank, Alison catches a glimpse of the Belted Kingfisher hovering above the water, just waiting patiently for the perfect moment to "drop like a stone, headfirst in the water" only to emerge a few seconds later with a tiny wiggling silver fish in its beak. Alison encounters many other birds on her adventures and, true to Haig-Brown's other stories, every bird, whether it is the Osprey, the Heron, or the Merganser, all have a lesson to share about their life and the natural world around them. For almost a century, Haig-Brown has been teaching children and adults alike to explore, learn, and respect our forests, oceans, and rivers. As one of Haig-Brown's lesser-known stories, Alison's Fishing Birds is a gem that is long overdue on the shelves of popular children's fiction. Alison's Fishing Birds is richly illustrated by acclaimed and talented artist Sheryl McDougald, and includes a preface by Valerie Haig-Brown.
Roderick Haig-Brown is known as one of BC's most influential and knowledgeable conservationists and naturalists. He was the author of 28 books. In 1947, Haig-Brown won the inaugural Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award, recognizing his 1943 novel Starbuck Valley Winter. He won the award again in 1963 for The Whale People. Haig-Brown was a visionary in his time and his work is increasingly more relevant today. Sheryl McDougald lives, rambles, paints, draws, photographs, photoshops, and otherwise explores the amazing visual buffet that is the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. When she is not busy bleaching found bones or picking up feathers, she works in her many sketch journals, which are also places to plan large-scale paintings. She was diagnosed with MS in 1996, so mobility issues play a part in her artistic practice. She lives in Roberts Creek and can often be found scootering around with a travel kit of art supplies in her basket.
"The gentle text invites re-reading, as the lessons provided on the natural world and its need for conservation are pondered [...] Stunning drawings and paintings reveal aspects of the wildlife mentioned in the text and provide a beautiful extra facet. Combined with the pleasing dimensions and layout, the illustrations add to the physical attractiveness of the title [...] this singular book has several layers of appeal as literary history, environmental delight, charming story for children and as an artistic pleasure."
—Sandra O'Brien, The Canadian Children's Book Centre
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